If you have been part of a software development work and have developed some kind of flows, Process Models (in BPMN), Entity Relationship Diagrams (ERD), or drawn any UML diagrams in Visio or any other tool; then you have actually been involved in Enterprise modeling without actually knowing it.
As Model Driven Development (MDD) is the future of any application development project, lack of a standardized approach to create and manage these diagrams in a central repository is a major issue faced by many organizations. Adapting an Enterprise modeling approach would streamline these efforts and help publish these artifacts to a wider audience. There is ‘n’ number of scenarios to outline the benefits of adapting Enterprise modeling as a governance principle but I tried to outline the top 4 from that list below.
a) BPMS implementations – BPM automation is fast catching up as a software implementation standard in many organization and you may argue that most of the big players like PEGA, Appian and others have a process modeling component embedded in their BPMS suites. You are off-course right but still enterprise modeling does not just stop with process modeling and there are other Enterprise models like use cases, capability mapping or Org charts which will fast track the BPM application implementation. So having an enterprise modeling tool will act as a value added component during BPMS implementation and roll-outs.
b) ERP implementation – One of the overlooked but most critical phase during an ERP implementation like SAP or Oracle is the process documentation phase. There is lots of ERP integration to BPA tools available in market, for instance the process model from SAP Solution Manager can be synced to BPA tools like ARIS/MEGA/Casewise etc. These integrations will enable the business people to have an overview of the process being automated without relying on the technical team to produce reports. Having this component will improve the roll out time, increase traceability and reduce change management cost.
c) IT Governance and Service Implementation – Setting up IT governance and service workflow based on frameworks like ITIL, COBIT etc. is a big hazel for many organizations. There are out of the box reference models and tool kits provided by many BPA tool vendors, like Casewise, ARIS, Orbus, Adonis etc. to fast tract the implementation and roll out these standard processes quickly. There are few ITSM automation tools like Servicenow, BMC etc. which can utilize these models and generate workflows instantaneously with few customization. Having a structured Enterprise modeling approach will enable faster adaptation of these tools.
d) Business IT Application Implementation – Requirements phase is the most time consuming phase of any IT implementation. Having an enterprise model based approach to requirements management will improve the customer experience in the requirements phase of the project. Different enterprise modeling artifacts like Process models, use case diagrams etc. can be used to capture the project requirements into models stored in a central enterprise repository and publish them to all the project stakeholders. This approach will enable reuse of the artifacts in other projects or during enhancements, stream line the implementation and the same can also be used in generating training manuals.
Adapting Enterprise modeling during software development or workflow implementation will drastically improve the ROI of the whole project as it enables transparency across the business and IT teams. BPM Service providers should educate their clients on how this approach can be integrated seamlessly in the existing IT delivery setup and generate value.